Download e-book for kindle: Lakatos: An Introduction by Brendan Larvor

By Brendan Larvor

Lakatos: An advent is the 1st accomplished ebook at the hugely influential thinker of technology, Imre Lakatos. Lakatos: An advent sincerely offers: Lakatos's improvement of a philosophy of arithmetic and empirical technological know-how Lakatos's proposal as an immense hybrid of Popperian philosophy and Hegelian-Marxist inspiration the connection among Lakatos's perspectives on technological know-how and arithmetic and his extra basic philosophical ideals. Brendan Larvor for this reason presents an intensive evaluation of either Lakatos's suggestion and his position in 20th Century philosophy.

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None of this means that Lakatos was hostile to mathematical logic itself, which he taught at the London School of Economics. The formalist domination of the philosophy of mathematics, according to Lakatos, also reflected a change in mathematical practice. On his account, eighteenth-century mathematicians thought of proofs as thought-experiments. On this view, the rigour of a proof lies in the clarity and distinctness of the relevant ideas (in a more or less Cartesian sense). In the following century, mathematicians learned the art of proof-analysis.

That is to say, the validity of the proof would depend solely on the meanings of the terms of the dominant theory, and the theorem would be ‘ana- PROOFS AND REFUTATIONS 33 lytic’ relative to that theory. Worrall and Zahar, in an extension to the dialogue, seem to argue that it makes a difference that we can make logic alone the dominant theory of mathematics. If logic is the dominant theory, runs the argument, then all our theorems can be logical ‘tautologies’, in that their proofs would only depend on the meanings of the logical terms.

It also presents a difficulty for philosophers (in any tradition) hoping to produce a general logic of science. This aspiration depends on the idea that the replacement of an old theory by a new one is achieved by follow- THE POPPER-KUHN DEBATE 41 ing an explicit logical method. In this case, scientists should be driven by the force of argument from the old view to the new one. On Kuhn’s view, however, the change is not logically compelling. If enough scientists fall into the grip of the new gestalt then a revolution will take place.

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